Aneurysm: what is it?

The term «aneurysm» determines the formation of abnormal protrusions of the walls of large vessels or heart. The main danger of this education is that it is a long time does not manifest itself, and over time can lead to serious consequences, including death.

Abnormal protrusion of what is the mechanism of its development

Arteries provide blood flow from the heart to the smallest capillaries of the body tissues. In their lumen the blood moves under considerable pressure, which affects the walls of blood vessels. Due to the high strength and elasticity, they are slightly expanding during systole (contraction of the heart), and then narrow during diastole (relaxation of the cardiac muscle with a reduction of pressure in the arteries). Because of this the walls of blood vessels are not damaged under the impact of high blood pressure. Bulging (aneurysm) is formed as a result of the primary pathogenetic mechanism consisting in a local weakening of the walls of blood vessels or heart chambers.

The reasons for the development

A local decrease in the strength of walls of blood vessels or cavity of the heart develops under the influence of various causal factors (polietiologic disease process), which include:

  • Atherosclerosis is a systemic metabolic disorder that is characterized by gradual deposition of cholesterol mainly in the walls of the arteries with the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. Cholesterol reduces the elasticity and strength, resulting in the formation of protrusions.
  • A congenital decrease in the strength of the arterial walls defective genes that are responsible for the strength of blood vessels and inherited from parents to children that may eventually lead to the formation of an aneurysm.
  • Infection vascular endarteritis (inflammation of arteries) leads to a gradual substitution site of the pathological process vessel by connective tissue, which does not have sufficient elasticity.
  • Trauma, which in varying degrees, touched the wall of the blood vessel or heart.
  • The impact of toxins on the blood vessels or the heart, leading to disruption of metabolism in them, and the death of the cells.
  • Autoimmune disease in which the immune system produces antibodies against own tissues of the body, including within the walls of blood vessels or heart.
  • Myocardial infarction (death of part of the heart muscle) infarction.
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The knowledge of the causes which led to the development of aneurysms, it is necessary in the first place for the timely diagnosis of such education and early adequate treatment to prevent the development of complications.

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The types of aneurysm

Depending on various criteria pathological protrusion is divided into several types. On localization distinguish such forms of aneurysm:

  • Cardiac aneurysm – an abnormal bulging is localized in one of the walls of the cavities of the heart, often in the left or right ventricle.
  • Aortic aneurysm – the aorta is the largest artery of the body that comes out of the left ventricle. Blood pressure it is very high, so this localization of aneurysm is quite common.
  • Aneurysm of cerebral vessels – is characterized by the frequent development of severe complications leading to death of part of the nervous tissue with loss of its function.

It is also possible the formation of an abnormal bulging of the arteries at other sites, but it is often asymptomatic and does not lead to complications.
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Clinical symptoms

The main feature of an aneurysm, regardless of its localization, is the long absence of symptoms and signs. Large as an aneurysm can compress nearby tissues and organs, leading to disruption of their functional activity, as well as to the appearance of pain of different intensity.


Because the aneurysm often has no specific clinical symptoms, the basis of diagnosis is identification of the pathological education. For this purpose, various methods of instrumental diagnostics and visualization of the aneurysm:

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  • Roentgenography of organs of a thorax – allows you to visualize the aneurysm of the heart and thoracic aorta.
  • Angiography – radiography, in which, for better visualization of venous vessels in the blood is injected a special contrast agent.
  • Ultrasound of the heart (food) – using ultrasound visualized the aneurysm wall of one of the cavities.
  • Computed tomography – x-ray method of instrumental diagnostics, which has a high separation capacity with the ability to visualize even small aneurysms.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging – allows for layer-by-layer scanning of the area of the body with the visualization of all tissues and structures.

With the help of such methods of instrumental examination, the doctor is able to determine the localization of the aneurysm, and to assess its size and to make a prediction regarding the development of possible complications.

Complications of aneurysm

The main complication is the abnormal bulging of an arterial vessel or the walls of the cavities of the heart is its gap. Since in these structures the blood pressure is very high, the damage to the wall leads to rapid bleeding, which can cause a lethal outcome (bleeding in the brain, the pericardial SAC, the retroperitoneum). Also with a significant size of the aneurysm, it can compress nearby nerves and tissue organs, causing a violation of their functional activity.

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Radical treatment of aneurysms and prevention of complications is its surgical removal. To do this, to date, there are various low-impact techniques, particularly endoscopic surgery.

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